A court in Delhi hearing the anticipatory bail pleas of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel Maxis case on Monday adjourned the trial till November 1, PTI reported. The interim protection from arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate will continue till the next hearing, according to ANI.
On October 1, the Patiala House Court gave the CBI seven weeks to obtain sanction to prosecute the accused. The court warned the agency that it would take appropriate action if the required documents are not filed before the next hearing on November 26. The court of Special Judge OP Saini criticised the Central Bureau of Investigation for filing the chargesheet without obtaining proper sanction.
The agency’s counsel, Sonia Mathur, told the court that the granting of sanction “is under active consideration of the government” and could happen within four weeks. Mathur added that the sanctions were needed as the people the agency sought to prosecute were serving or retired public servants. Chidambaram’s name is among those against whom sanction for prosecution is yet to come.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a chargesheet against 18 people, including Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, in July. The chargesheet named retired as well as serving government officials. The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy, seeking illegal gratification, and criminal misconduct under various sections.
The case pertains to clearances that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted to the firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel in 2006. Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time and Karti Chidambaram allegedly facilitated the payment of bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. The Enforcement Directorate is looking into why Chidambaram approved the investment when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs can give the green signal.